Since 2005, the mission of the school has been to provide an outstanding Montessori-based education, in the Episcopal tradition, to culturally and economically diverse groups of children, nurturing the child’s mind, body and spirit.
Our children gather for weekly prayer and teaching time in St Paul’s unique Little Chapel, complete with child-sized pews. Services with the Rector are held weekly in the St. Paul’s Church. The goal is to increase each child’s understanding of God’s love and presence in each life.
Basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics are taught using the Montessori method and materials. Other approaches may be used if they are consistent with the school’s philosophy. Younger children are usually taught one-on-one. As they grow older, they receive more instruction in small groups. Expectations for work habits, independence and self-motivation are high. Children work at their own pace; materials are presented to challenge, but not overwhelm the child.
Each classroom is composed of children of various ages, within the same plane of development. Younger students learn from observing older children, and older students help younger ones. As children become older, the community becomes a source for valuable lessons. Through field trips, children receive additional information that may not be available to them in books. From time to time resource people visit the school to demonstrate their crafts or share their experiences.
We do not use formal testing or letter grades. The guides observe the step-by-step mastery of the materials and lessons presented. Progress is reported to parents through verbal and written comments at conferences. Children above the age of eight in the Lower and Upper Elementary classes are given standardized tests to assess skills and abilities and to facilitate communication with other schools.
The staff of St. Paul’s functions at its best with the support and commitment of the parents – this is why we say we are “working together for our children.” Often, guides ask parents to extend the child’s classroom to include the home. Reading to or with the child, sharing your family stories, and simply having the child help with daily home activities is an important element of learning.